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     Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site

       Editor: Peter Kent
         Top Floor Publishing

        Over 42,000 Subscribers in More Than 100 Countries!

   ~~~ IN THIS ISSUE ~~~

   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

   Poor Richard's Web Site, 2nd Edition

   Beginner's Column:
       Links--Why You Need Them and How to Get Them

   An Online Store Diary II -- Finding Newsletters

   Ten Rules of Good Writing

   A Real Web Success -- The $4m Web Site

   Poor Richard's Web Site and Other Top Floor Books

   Book Reviewers Wanted

   Reading Back Issues

   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  CHARACTERS in length at www.YourNameFree.com. You are no longer
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  register your names now! Act now and save an extra $10 off the
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  {{ Poor Richard's Web Site, 2nd Edition }}

  Okay, so it's late. But "Poor Richard's Web Site: Geek-Free,
  Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site", 2nd
  Edition, is finally here. The first edition turned into perhaps
  the most widely reviewed and praised title in computer-book
  history (see http://www.poorrichard.com/review.htm for some
  examples). The 2nd edition is completely updated -- all the
  links have been checked and updated where necessary, but
  there's a lot of new information, too, thanks to the tremendous
  change that we've seen on the Web since the first edition.

  Check it out -- and buy your own copy -- at


  {{ Beginner's Column:
       Links--Why You Need Them and How to Get Them }}
  By Jim Daniels

  How many websites are linked to your site?

  100, 1000, 10,000?

  A recent check at linkpopularity.com showed that Yahoo has over
  one million links sprawled across the web. That's a lot of

  And while reaching that milestone at your site may seem
  impossible, it is important to at least grow your links
  regularly. The number will have a direct affect on your website
  traffic in many ways. Here's an example...

  Lately I've noticed a steady increase in visitors coming to my
  own site from search engines. But not just the ol' major "big
  8" search engines. Many newer search engines are now directing
  fresh traffic to my site too.

  New subscribers to my newsletter have reported finding my site
  through newer engines like google.com, iwon.com, and

  But why? It's been a long time since I really put much effort
  into my search engine ranking.

  Well after a little research, my findings pointed directly to
  one explanation... "Links."

  At many search engines, new and old alike, the number of
  quality links you have into your site plays a key role in their
  relevancy algorithms. In a nutshell, the more sites you have
  linking to yours (preferably related sites) the higher your
  site will rank in their returns.

  Thanks to my past and current linking efforts, my site now has
  thousands of other sites linked to it. And you should be
  striving for the same.

  Why? Well actually it goes much deeper than the benefit you
  gain at the search engines...

  - Your best quality visitors will always come from links at
  related sites. This is a fact of business online. And it is one
  that will stand the test of time. Consider quality links
  online, as the equivalent of "word of mouth referrals" in the
  real world. When customers come by referral, there is already a
  level of trust established, even before they get to your store.
  That goes a long way in making sales.

  - And yes, as my own findings show, links help your search
  engine ranking more than you might imagine! It looks as though
  this will continue to grow as a measuring stick at most search
  engines. When link popularity plays a big role at a search
  engine, the quality of the sites returned tends to improve.
  Since that's a main goal of the search engines in the first
  place, more and more are increasingly relying on this as a
  measuring stick.

  So what does all this mean for your website?

  It means you need to learn how to get more links into your
  site! But the plain truth is, getting good links ain't easy.

  Growing the number of links into your site takes time. I've
  been online since 1996 so time has been on my side. But even if
  you are new to this arena, there are ways to speed up the
  process. Here are three techniques you should consider
  implementing as soon as possible...

  1. Just Ask.

  You can always just ask webmasters of related sites for a link!

  But before you do, be sure to visit the sites you plan to
  contact and get the owner or webmaster's first name. Also make
  sure they actually have a section of their site dedicated to
  links. Then, send them a personal message explaining why you
  feel a link swap would be _mutually_ beneficial.

  If you see no links section at their site, investigate further
  and see if a joint venture may be in order. That's taking link
  swapping to the next level!

  2. Use a Link Trading service.

  I have never been a big fan of link swap services since the few
  I've joined in the past have had too many drawbacks

  - unrelated and untargeted links in and out of my site
  - banners that were too big, unsightly or slow-loading
  - a swap credit system that rewarded the swap site first
  - unproductive results

  However, my outlook on link swap services improved this week
  with the introduction of a new service from an old friend of
  mine, Brian Welch of bizbot.net.

  What I like best about his new, free link trading service is
  that I can control what sites I link to, what my link looks
  like and how many links I earn. The interface is slick and
  attractive. But whether it works remains to be seen.

  I've posted my Link-Box at www.bizweb2000.com/wwwboard so take
  a peek at Link Box. If you like it, you can join for free.

  If Link-Box isn't for you, check out the directory at
  http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=link+exchange and you're
  bound to find a link swap service to your liking.

  3. Pre-license your proprietary content to related sites.

  This is about the best way I've been able to grow links into my
  site. I recommend it highly for any webmaster who creates
  content of their own, such as articles, industry tips and the

  Pre-licensing your content simply means allowing other
  webmasters to use it for free. Their only obligation is to
  include a link to your site. In the best case scenario, you
  determine what the link looks like.

  I do this at http://www.bizweb2000.com/articles.htm and at
  every single article I've posted at my site. Webmasters
  interested in solid content for their related site or ezine can
  simply copy and paste my articles at will. All I ask is that
  they keep my short footer with each article. In the footer is a
  link to my site.

  Pre-licensing your content creates a win-win situation. The
  webmaster gets an informative article for their internet
  marketing site and you get a relevant link into your site.

  I hope the tips here help you grow the number of links into
  your site. If you have proven methods that have been growing
  your links, come on by the CyberMarketing InfoBoard and share

  Who knows, you may just pick up some new links in the

  Article by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing.


  {{ An Online Store Diary II -- Finding Newsletters }}

  After I ran my business partner's article in the last issue
  (see http://www.poorrichard.com/newsltr/039.htm#diary ) both he
  and I received a number of request for more information. Just
  how, people wanted to know, did he track down the newsletters
  that he used to promote his site so well?

  Here's a little more help. The following is the exact same list
  I sent him, culled from my book "Poor Richard's Internet
  Marketing and Promotions" (see http://PoorRichard.com/promo/ ).

  This is a list I published at my Web site some time ago:

  These are mailing list services:





  Web Site Post Office (WSPO)

  Yahoo!Mailing Lists

  These are directories of newsletters/mailing lists:
  ETEXT Archives (A huge repository of zine and newsletter
  information; if you need a place to archive your newsletter,
  check this out.)

  E-Zine Ad Source (If you plan to sell advertising make sure
  you're listed here. It's free, but they ask that you run a
  small ad for their service twice a year)

  E-ZineZ (A search engine and searchable subject index just for

  InfoBot.net (A zine subject index)

  John Labovitz's E-Zine List (This should be one of your first
  stops to register your newsletter. It's one of the best-known
  zine sites on the Web, with over 3,000 zines)

  Liszt (Lists over 90,000 discussion groups and newsletters)

  Low Bandwidth

  NewJour (An e-mail publication carrying announcements about
  online publications.)

  NEW-LIST (Another publication dedicated to announcing new

  Newsletter Access (Paper and electronic newsletters. You can
  add a little information for free or a full listing for $19.95
  a year)

  Newsletter Library (Currently lists over 11,000 newsletters.
  Free samples of any are available. Cost to be listed in this
  resource is $50.)

  This sort of grass roots marketing really works. And probably
  the best description of this type of marketing you can find
  anywhere is that provided by Poor Richard's Internet Marketing
  and Promotions. The book costs $29.95 ($25.46 at the 15%
  discount we apply at our Web site --
  http://www.topfloor.com/cgi-bin/hazel/hazel.cgi ). This single
  list of information from the book, along with the advice on how
  to use it, has generated literally thousands of dollars in
  income for SoftNeon.com ... and there's plenty more information
  in the book (see the Table of Contents here:
  http://poorrichard.com/promo/tableofcont.htm ).


  {{ Ten Rules of Writing Good Writing }}

  I'm wary of running any humor pieces in this newsletter ...
  last time I did so I was accused of endorsing spam (see "How to
  Get Insanely Rich on the Internet,"
  http://www.poorrichard.com/newsltr/034.htm#faq ). However, this
  piece was too funny to pass up ...

  Ten Rules of Writing Good Writing
  By Jed McKendrick

  In our hectic, word-based society, it's good to know
  how to use words good. For instance, as a marketer
  on the internet, it might be good if you could use
  words good.

  Because you might want to write an article with
  words, so here are some rules about it:

  1. Parts of Speech Add Zest!

  Parts of speech include things like nouns, pronouns,
  verbs, and proverbs. They can really spice up your
  articles, so sprinkle them throughout your articles.

  2. Don't Forget the Headline!

  Without the headline, your article will just look
  like a big lump of words. Or like a bunch of smaller
  lumps if you use paragraphs. Try to choose a
  headline that tells the reader something about the
  article, like what it's about.

  3. Know Something About Your Subject!

  If you are not very smart about the subject of your
  article, ask someone to read it who is or else it
  could be really bad.

  4. Sentence Length!

  Readers get distracted by different sentence
  lengths. It's not important how long your sentences
  are as long as they are all the same. When you are
  done writing an article, go back and take some words
  out of the long sentences and put them in the short
  ones. This will make your readers more absorptive.

  5. Include Some Knowledge!

  For instance, if your subject is How To Make More
  Sales, you should actually include some information
  about that subject so your readers will benefit and
  buy something from you, hopefully something that
  doesn't suck.

  6. Don't Use Words You Don't Know!

  One of the most horipulating things you can do to a
  reader is use words semaphorically. If you're not
  sure what a word means, just ejaculate it for
  another one.

  7. Use Action!

  Don't write limply. Let your reader feel the wind in
  their hair with explosive, action-packed verbs, of
  which I can't think of any right now.

  8. Exclamations Get Attention!



  9. Involve the Reader!

  Don't just talk AT your reader, try to get them
  involved in a dialog even though you can't. Still,
  it's a really good thing to do. One way to achieve
  this is by asking questions.

  Wouldn't you agree?

  10. End On A High Note!

  Try to say something really good right at the end so
  readers are left with a good feeling about you and
  want to buy something from you, hopefully something
  that doesn't suck.

  And don't forget to wrap up by reminding the reader
  what everything you just said was, like that it's
  good to write good because it can benefit you!

  Jed McKendrick isn't a real idiot, he just plays one
  on the internet. Please visit and buy WebPosition
  Gold, which doesn't suck. http://www.Omni-Comm.com


  {{ A Real Web Success -- The $4m Web Site }}

  The following article was written by Mark Joyner, who recently
  sold his Web site (SearchHound.com) for $4M. He says he built
  this site with $0 spent on advertising and marketing. How?, you
  ask. Unfortunately he really doesn't say, except in very
  general terms (he sells a $100 marketing program, so you can
  visit his site for more info). I'd like to have heard more
  details. I really couldn't make up my mind whether to run the
  article, in fact ... but finally decided that, thanks to the
  $4M sale, it's a special case! (By the way, the buyer,
  TVIShop.com, claims it's actually worth $32M.)

  How I Made $4,000,000 on a $0 Ad Budget. Mostly...
  by Mark Joyner, CEO, Aesop.Com

  Part I - Dead Rule Of Internet Marketing #1 - Make Everything
  Sound Bigger Than It Really Is

  I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I'm guilty of it in the very
  title of this article.

  Here's the deal - we sold a high traffic website for
  $4,000,000. The advertising and marketing budget for the site
  was $0. That's the reality. I'll show you how I did this in a
  moment. In the meantime, let's take a sober look at the harsh
  reality of this deal.

  Part II - "$0 Ad Budget"? Yes. "No Cost"? No Way!

  While we paid $0 for advertising per se, what we had to pay in
  terms of time and effort was great. You, too, should be
  prepared to sacrifice. You *can* generate great business
  without an ad budget, but, let's get real - it takes effort.

  Marketing on a $0 budget is like North Viet Nam fighting the
  United States: The U.S. had big guns - The Viet Cong had speed
  and ingenuity. When you're up against companies that have big
  budgets, you have to out-think them and use your smaller size
  and agility to your advantage. The problem is, this fast
  movement takes energy - *lots* of energy.

  I could list the thousands of ways this endeavor tried to sap
  my energy day in and day out. Rather than bore you with the
  minutia, I'll pass on the wisdom that allowed me to succeed:

  a.   If someone tells you that you are crazy or that you will
  never succeed, this is the big voice in the sky telling you
  that you're on to something big.

  b.   Sometimes it will seem that you have suffered an
  irreparable setback. If you're alive enough to think about it,
  you haven't.

  Part III - "$4,000,000?" Yes. "$4,000,000 in Mark Joyner's
  Pocket?" Ha. Ha. You Kill Me.

  The sale of SearchHound was for $3,000,000 in cash and
  $1,000,000 in strike warrants. The warrants could end up being
  worth much more than the cash amount - or they could mean
  nothing at all. I'm focusing in on the cash. The company that
  purchased SearchHound is a fast mover for sure, and if I were
  an investor, I'd jump in on their IPO the moment it hits - but
  I don't play the market. I'm a marketer, pure and simple.

  Now, after I pay off our broker, give 1/2 of the remaining
  proceeds to my founding partner (who designed the technical
  back-end), pay the tax man, and give a sizeable bonus to my
  staff (I go to sleep thankful every night that I have them),
  I'll end up with just over $1,000,000 in my pocket. And then
  there are those warrants.

  So, having a cool million in my pocket after taxes and all is
  not bad. It's not $4M, though. If you think I should have
  received more, send me an email and I'll send a reply from my
  yacht. (I'm kidding about the yacht - most of the money will go
  into the expansion of my primary business. If you're a
  competitor, the answer is: "yes, you should be afraid - *very*

  Part IV - How I Did It on a $0 Ad Budget

  The actual marketing plan itself was very simple. I did not
  create a standard marketing plan like they teach you in school.
  Some people swear by them, but I just don't find it necessary
  (if you think I'm crazy for not using a standard marketing
  plan, send me an email and I'll send a reply -*from my yacht*!
  - OK. OK. I'll stop with the yacht jokes).

  What I did was create an Internet Marketing Battle Plan. If
  you've read my course then you already know what I'm talking
  about. The Internet Marketing Battle Plan is a system I created
  which can be applied to any website for any purpose, consisting
  of a series of "Killer Tactics" tailored to your particular

  An Internet Marketing Battle Plan consists of 5 tactics for:

  1. Getting People to a Website
  2. Keeping People at the Website
  3. Getting People Back to the Website Once They've Left
  4. Closing the Deal
  5. Working the "Back-End"

  Then you just execute your plan. That's all there is to it. OK,
  I'm simplifying things greatly here. There is more to it than
  that, of course, but you get the general idea. You'll probably
  develop several Battle Plans and refine them before you find
  one that really sticks. Any good marketer will tell you that
  testing is the foundation of all this. A combination of testing
  with this clear methodical approach is your blueprint for
  success. I don't care if you're selling a product, selling
  advertising, generating leads - it doesn't matter.

  People have offered me obscene amounts of money to teach them
  my methods. When I tell them that there is nothing I do that is
  not covered in my course (I just don't do consulting or
  lectures any more), they say: "come on, you're holding back on
  me". The truth is, there really *isn't* anything I do that I
  didn't reveal in my course.

  I wish I could tell you otherwise. Really. I seem to regret
  publishing the course every day. That is, it always comes back
  to bite me. I now must face an army of competitors using my own
  tactics against me. Live and learn...

  Well, the genie is out of the bottle, so to speak, so I may as
  well let you in on it as well. Here's where you can find it in
  case you don't already have a copy:


  Part V - Some Final Advice

  As a final note of encouragement, here's a little story. When I
  was a young enlisted soldier in the Army, I decided that I
  would like to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) and earn a
  commission. There were hundreds of annoying little hoops I had
  to jump through before I could even submit my *application*.
  Most of them consisted of going from one administrative office
  or another to get some paper work signed or some form approved.

  I kept a running count of all the times I heard some
  "desk-jockey" tell me "you can't go to OCS". I stopped counting
  when I heard my 29th "no". I'll tell you what these "no's"
  amounted to in a minute.

  A similar story can be told about the sale of SearchHound. I
  get really angry when I think about all of the negativity and
  "nay saying" I had to overcome to make this happen. A personal
  friend even sent me an email that said, "dream on" when I sent
  him a copy of the press release for the sale. Even after I
  showed him all of the independent news sources covering the
  story - he still couldn't believe it:


  Some people are programmed for failure. Allow the following
  information to program *you* for *success*:

  I went to OCS and graduated with one of the top ten academic
  averages of my class - that was the result of 29 "no's". And,
  as you know, I sold SearchHound for a tidy profit despite all
  the nay saying and disbelief.

  From time to time during both of these endeavors I was inspired
  by the words of one of my heroes: Sir Captain Richard Francis
  Burton (the explorer and scholar - not the actor). On his quest
  for the source of the Nile, he became violently ill and could
  barely stand - though he continued on. One of his partners
  asked him "Richard, if you continue, you will surely die. Shall
  we turn back?" He replied:

  "The devil drives!"

  Mark Joyner
  CEO, Aesop.com


{{ Poor Richard's Web Site and Other Top Floor Books }}

   Top Floor Publishing now has five books in print:

   Poor Richard's Web Site

   Poor Richard's E-mail Publishing

   Poor Richard's Internet Marketing and Promotions

   The CDnow Story: Rags to Riches on the Internet

   MP3 and the Digital Music Revolution: Turn Your PC into a
   CD-Quality Jukebox

   Order direct from the publisher, and you'll get a 100%,
   Guarantee. If you feel the book wasn't worth the money, send
   back for a refund!

   And remember, these books are discounted at the Web site, and
   you pay just one shipping cost regardless of how many books


   {{ Book Reviewers Wanted }}

   Do you review books for newspapers, magazines, newsletters
   (electronic or paper), Web sites, or other media spots? If
   so, perhaps you'd like to review Top Floor Publishing's
   latest book, "Poor Richard's Web Site: Geek-Free, Commonsense
   Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site, 2nd Edition"? Or
   perhaps you'd like to review one of the other books I
   mentioned above?

   Contact my Marketing Director, Missy Derkacz, at
   [EMAIL PROTECTED] Include your full mailing address, the
   name of newspaper/magazine/whatever in which the review will
   appear and the probable date of publication, and the editor's
   contact information.


   {{ Reading Back Issues }}

   If you need to refer to back issues of this newsletter -- and
   search the archives -- you can find them at the following


  (c) Copyright 1999, Top Floor Publishing
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